When transport ministers from the 18 APEC economies meet this month in Victoria, one of the key documents placed in front of them will be a paper by UBC Prof. Tae Oum and Assoc. Prof. Bill Waters.
Their paper will provide essential background for the ministers' deliberations on transport issues affecting the APEC economies. It will also highlight key issues including port and airport infrastructure requirements, transport financing, environmental concerns and privatization.
Oum and Waters, both of the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, are two of many UBC academics directly or indirectly involved in substantive preparations for the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders' meeting, Nov. 25 at UBC.
The academic involvement, along with the fact that one day of the leaders' meeting will be held in the Museum of Anthropology, helps to highlight UBC's position as a premier institution in Asia Pacific affairs in North America.
Other examples of APEC-related academic activity are:
Former B.C. premier Michael Harcourt, a research associate at the Sustainable Development Research Institute, is helping prepare documentation for the environment ministers' meeting on sustainable urban development. Prof. Emeritus Peter Oberlander is also preparing background materials for APEC environment ministers, who meet in Toronto this month.
Several UBC experts are involved in research or consulting with APEC governments on energy issues. These include faculty at the Centre for Asian Legal Studies, who had been involved in drafting petroleum legislation in Southeast Asia and have done extensive research on commercial law related to energy in China. APEC energy ministers are also meeting in Edmonton in August to develop a co-ordinated approach to energy issues and trade arrangements.
Institute of Asian Research (IAR) director Terry McGee and honorary research associate John Price have developed a Web site called APEC Research and Information Network (www.iar.ubc.ca/apec/links.html) to provide a database and clearing-house for information of interest to non-governmental organizations. The non-governmental organizations are planning a major parallel conference to coincide with the leaders' meeting to discuss issues ranging from the environment and women's issues to child labour.
Brian Job, director of the Institute of International Relations, is hosting a major conference in Victoria this September on Asia Pacific regional security. Although not on the official APEC agenda, security is an important issue for all member economies. Job, McGee and others will attend the ASEAN Asia Pacific Roundtable organized by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia. This gathering will also have relevance to the APEC agenda.
Several UBC faculty members will present papers in September at a symposium held by the federal government. This meeting will look at the impact of APEC on food, energy, environment, economy and population issues. UBC faculty members are also taking part in a conference on freedom of the press in Hong Kong slated for Simon Fraser University in the coming months.
Faculty and students from the IAR, Commerce and Law are involved in the Fourth World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, a major conference with 1,500 delegates to be held in Vancouver in August that is also related to APEC. Last April, UBC hosted a related workshop called Bamboo Networks and Economic Growth in the Asia Pacific Region.
Other UBC researchers are examining topics ranging from air quality in APEC cities to the economic role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Asia Pacific.
The UBC APEC Web page, which contains basic information on APEC, UBC's involvement, and links to many other APEC Web sites, can be found at www.ubc.ca under "News, Events and Attractions."